Because democracy is dependent on an informed electorate, political control in advanced societies like the United States has focused on selective dissemination of information and ideological spin. A whistleblower like Pvt. Bradley Manning disrupts that process, says Norman Solomon.
Many Americans forget how intimidating it was a decade ago for any U.S. citizen to speak out against President George W. Bush’s rush to war with Iraq. For example, the Dixie Chicks got death threats and actor Sean Penn was denounced as “a stooge of Saddam,” as Norman Solomon recalls.
Over several decades, as the Right built a powerful political/media infrastructure and effectively took over the Republican Party, the Left squandered its advantage in holding many positions that mesh with popular sentiment by too often insisting on political “purity” and refusing to work within the Democratic Party, writes Jeff Cohen.